Dozens of public servants in Essex are earning six figure salaries with huge pension contributions on top.

Essex County Council has more than 50 staff earning a basic salary of more than £100,000.

This does not include the dozens earning bumper pay packets at schools or those whose bonuses, expenses or pension contributions, tips them into the six figure bracket.

County Hall justified the salaries claiming they need to pay the best for the best, although did not say what they are doing to be considered the best.

The figures were released by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “It is imperative, especially at time when the council is having to radically change the way it works that we have talented and experienced people leading the organisation. To ensure we are able to attract and retain the services of these people we obviously need to pay competitive salaries.”